Viewers who can’t make it to the Vatican can watch Easter Mass live online and see Pope Francis say Mass and deliver his Urbi et Orbi blessing from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Though Easter Mass at the Vatican is one of the oldest traditions, today the home of Pope Francis and the center of the Roman Catholic Church is big on modern technology, offering live streaming video of the service across the world.
Pope Francis will preside over the Mass of Our Lord’s Resurrection, which starts Easter Sunday at 10:15 a.m. local time (4:15 a.m. ET).
Easter is the most important holiday for the Roman Catholic Church, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his death. Pope Francis has already kicked off Holy Week services, including a visit to a prison, where he washed and kissed the feet of 12 prisoners, some of them hardened criminals and murders.
Pope Francis said the event, which replicated Jesus washing the feet of his disciples before his own death, helped him “to become more of a slave in the service of people.”
Those who watch Easter Mass from the Vatican live online may see Pope Francis continue his outreach beyond the Roman Catholic Church. The pope has taken a universal stance, urging all religions to come together on issues like fighting modern slavery.
In a message earlier this year, Pope Francis said, “All of us are called (by God) to be free, all are called to be sons and daughters, and each, according to his or her own responsibilities, is called to combat modern forms of enslavement. From every people, culture and religion, let us join our forces.”
There is also a chance this could be one of the last times that Pope Francis stands on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica and delivers a message to the world. Pope Francis, 76, said he has plans to follow the footsteps of his predecessor Pope Benedict and retire before his death.
Popes hold office until they die, but Pope Benedict broke centuries of tradition and decided to hand over the office. Pope Francis said he may do the same in three to four years.
In the interview, Pope Francis said he would like to one day live a semi-normal life again.
“The only thing I would like is be able to go out one day, without being recognized, and go to a pizzeria to eat a pizza.”
[Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images]